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History of Women in Sports Timeline
"I did what I wanted to do."
- Fanny Blankers-Koen, who won 4 gold medals at the 1948 Olympics
and was named the top female track athelete of the 20th century
- 2000 - Venus Williams becomes a Grand Slam champion with her straight sets win at Wimbledon over Lindsay Davenport. She becomes the only the second black women's champion at Wimbledon, following Althea Gibson, who won the title in 1957 and 1958.
- 2000 - Sisters Venus and Serena Williams make tennis history when, for the first time in history, sisters win the Wimbledon doubles title. The two teamed up to beat teamed Ai Sugiyama and Julie Halard-Decugis 6-3, 6-2.
- 2000 - Marla Runyan, 31 and legally blind since childhood, earns a spot on the US Olympic team with her third place finish in the women’s 1,500 meters. She joins teammates Regina Jacobs and Suzy Favor-Hamilton on the Olympic team. She becomes the first legally blind runner to make the Olympics. In the 1992 Paralympics, Runyan won the 100, 200, 400 and long jump, and won the pentathlon in the 1996 Paralympics.
- 2000 - The WNBA’s West team beats the East 73-61 in the second All-Star game. Tina Thompson of the Houston Comets was game MVP with 13 points and a record 11 rebounds. Lisa Leslie of Los Angeles scored a record 16 points.
- 2000 - Stacy Dragila, 29, sets a new world record in the women’s pole vault with a jump of 15 feet, 2¼ inches. She won the inaugural world indoor championship in 1997 and the first world title in 1999.
- 2000 - Karrie Web, 25, finishes the US Women’s Open at 6-under 282 to win by five strokes. Having won three of the last four majors, she also has enough points for the Hall of Fame, although she won’t be eligible to be inducted until 2005 after 10 years on the LPGA Tour.
- 2000 - Minnesota Lynx guard Betty Lennox wins the 2000 WNBA Rookie of the Year award, receiving 59 of 62 votes, a Tiffany-designed trophy, and $5,000. Picked sixth in the WNBA draft, Lennox averaged 16.9 points, 5.6 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.7 steals.
- 2000 - US Olympics softball team pitcher Lisa Fernandez, 29, strikes out all 21 batters in her in her fifth consecutive perfect game. She has retired the last 111 batters she’s faced. The team is 48-0 since starting their pre-Olympic summer tour June 2.
- 2000 - Houston Comets forward Sheryl Swoopes, the first WNBA player signed in 1997, is named the WNBA’s most valuable player. She was named the league’s defensive player of the year, with 2.81 steals, 3.8 assists 1.06 blocked shots and 6.3 rebounds. She won the league’s scoring title as well, averaging 20.7 points per game. Swoopes won an Olympic gold medal in 1996.
- 2000 - US women’s national team midfielder Michelle Akers, 34, announces her retirement from international competition due to injury, ending a stellar 15 year career. Akers, who played in the first-ever US women’s national team match in 1985, was the top scorer at the first-ever Women’s World Cup in 1991, with 10 goals to become the first American to win a Golden Boot at a FIFA competition. In other firsts, Akers was the first woman player to earn a shoe-endorsement contract and the first female player to gain national and global fame in her sport. With 105 goals, she is one of only four players in soccer history to score more than 100 career goals and ends international career with two Women’s World Cup titles and an Olympic gold medal. Akers retires as the national team’s second all-time leading scorer with 105 goals, 37 assists and 247 total points. She is currently seventh in all-time appearances with 153. She is tied for the US record for most goals in a game (five against Taiwan in the 1991 Women’s World Cup) and is the all-time leading scorer in the history of the Women’s World Cup with 12 goals. She holds the US record for most goals and points in a calendar year when she booted in 39 goals in 26 matches in 1991. She also holds the record for most consecutive games with a goal at nine. Akers is a three-time US Soccer Female Athlete of the Year, last honored in 1999. In 1998 she received FIFA’s highest honor, the FIFA Order of Merit, for her positive contributions to the game.
- 2000 - The Houston Comets 4-peat in a 79-73 victory over the New York Liberty for their fourth straight WNBA championship, with Sheryl Swoopes, the league’s MVP and leading scorer this season, scoring 31 points in the game. Houston swept the series 2-0.
- 2000 - Karrie Webb wins $112,500 in the Oldsmobile Classic, earning a total of $1.68 million so far this season, and setting a tournament record of 11-under-par 61 and matching the LPGA record. Webb’s 23 under after 54 holes also is a record, breaking her own mark by one stroke. Webb already owns the LPGA records of 36-holes (16 under) and 72 holes (26 under).
- 2000 - The United States women’s soccer team sees two new records set in a 4-0 win over Brazil. Goalkeeper Siri Mullinix earns her 13th shutout in a calendar year (one more than the previous record held by Briana Scurry), and international scoring leader Mia Hamm boots her 124th and 125th career goals.
- 2000 - Venus Williams wins the U.S. Open title her sister Serena took home last year, earning $800,000. Williams has a 26-match winning streak, including two major titles this year after a slow start due to injury.
- 2000 - The 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia, open with a record 120 events for a record 4,100 women competitors, about 40% of the total athletes in these games. 2000 marks the 100th anniversary for women being allowed to compete in the Games.
- 2000 - Switzerland’s Brigitte McMahon wins Olympic gold in the inaugural women’s triathlon in 2 hours, 40 seconds. Australia’s Michellie Jones took the silver in 2:42, and third place went to Switzerland’s Magali Messmer.
- 2000 - American Nancy Johnson , 26, takes home the first American gold medal of the 2000 Olympics with the top performance in the women’s 10-meter air rifle with a score of 497.7. Second place goes to Kang Cho-Hyun of Korea and third place to China’s Gao Jing.
- 2000 - America’s Jenny Thompson, 27, adds a record-tying sixth career Olympic gold medal, anchoring the US women’s 400-meter freestyle relay with teammates Amy Van Dyken, Dara Torres and Courtney Shealy. Thompson finished in 3:36.61, beating the previous mark set in 1994. Thompson now holds the gold medal record for an American woman, outpacing speedskater Bonnie Blair (5).
- 2000 - Women’s weightlifting makes its Olympic with the gold medal going to Izabela Dragneva of Bulgaria, the silver to American Tara Nott, and Raema Lisa Rumbe of Indonesia taking the bronze. Dragneva had a total lift of 418 ¾ pounds; Nott’s total was 407 ¾ pounds.
- 2000 - American Lori Harrigan pitched the first solo no-hitter in Olympic softball history to open the US team’s gold-medal defense with a 6-0 victory over Canada. Harrigan had a 0.00 ERA in the Atlanta Games; the US team has won 111 consecutive games dating back to the 1998 world championships. Nevada-Las Vegas, where Harrigan pitched in college, retired her number.
- 2000 - With odds of 67 million to 1 against for hitting two holes-in-one in the same round of golf, Kathy Holzhauer of Centralia, IL, hit the jackpot during a game at the Green Hills Golf Course in Mount Vernon on Sept. 17.
- 2000 - Mexico’s Soraya Jimenez wins her nation’s first Olympic women’s weightlifting gold medal in the 58-kilogram division. She pumped 127.5 kilos (281 pounds) above her head, with a total 222.5 kilos (490 pounds) in combined weight. North Korea’s Ri Song Hui took the silver with a total of 220 kilos (485 pounds). The bronze medal went to Thailand’s Khassarporn Suta with a total of 210 kilos (463 pounds).
- 2000 - China’s Yang Xia also wins a gold medal and breaks the world records in the snatch, clean and jerk and total lift in Olympic women’s weightlifting. Taiwan’s Li Feng-ying, the previous world record holder in the clean and jerk, took the silver at 212.5 (468.25). Winarni Binti Slamet of Indonesia took the bronze with a total lift of 202.5 (446.25).
- 2000 - 16-year old American Megan Quann wins the gold medal in the 100 meter breaststroke in 1:7.05. Australian Leisel Jones took silver with 1:07.49 and South Africa's Penny Heyns took the bronze in 1:07.55.
- 2000 - American Misty Hyman, 21, wins Olympic gold in the 200-meter butterfly in an Olympic record time of 2:5.88, beating the world record holder Susie O’Neill of Australia who took the silver in 2:06.58.
- 2000 - Jenny Thompson earns a seventh Olympic gold medal as anchor of the US 800-meter freestyle relay. The USA team of Samantha Arsenault, Diana Munz, Lindsay Benko and Thompson had an Olympic record 7:57.80. Thompson holds the gold medal record for an American in the Olympics. Australia earn the silver in 7:58.52 and Germany the bronze in 7:58.64.
- 2000 - Romanian Andreea Raducan, 16, wins the Olympic women’s gymnastics all-around gold medal, the first Romanian to take the all-around gold since Nadia Comaneci in 1976. Her teammates, Simona Amanar took the silver and Maria Olaru the bronze. The Romanian team took the team gold. Raducan was later stripped of her medal for taking an over-the-counter cold remedy the team doctor prescribed that contained a banned stimulant. Teammates Simona Amanar and Maria Olaru, the silver and bronze medal winners, moved up in the individual standings, and fourth-place finisher Liu Xuan of China got the bronze.
- 2000 - Inge de Bruijn of the Netherlands wins the 100-meter freestyle in 53.83 seconds for her second gold medal of the Olympics. Therese Alshammar of Sweden took silver in 54.33. Americans Jenny Thompson and Dara Torres tied for bronze in 54.43 seconds. Thompson becomes the most decorated woman swimmer in history with nine career medals, as well as having the most Olympic medals won by an American woman.
- 2000 - Irina Karavaeva, 25, of Russia wins the inaugural Olympic gold medal in women’s trampoline, Oxana Tsyhuleva of Ukraine takes the silver, and Karen Cockburn of Canada wins the bronze. Karavaeva has won the world championships since 1994, and won the individual event at the World Cup this year. 86-year-old George Nissen, a co-inventor of the trampoline, was present at its Olympic debut.
- 2000 - American Brooke Bennett, 20, won the 800-meter freestyle in an Olympic record 8:19.67, beating the old mark of 8:20.20 set by Janet Evans at the 1988 Olympics. She becomes the first woman since Evans to sweep both the 400 and 800 freestyles. Yana Klochkova of Ukraine won silver in 8:22.66 and American Kaitlin Sandeno, 17, took the bronze in 8:24.29.
- 2000 - Romania’s Diana Mocanu wins the women’s 200 backstroke event in 2:08.16, matching her gold medal perfomance in the women’s 100 backstroke. France’s Roxana Maracineanu won the silver and Japan’s Miki Nakao took the bronze.
- 2000 - Paola Pezzo of Italy wins the Olympic mountain bike gold medal, defending the Olympic title she won in Atlanta. Barbara Blatter of Switzerland won silver and Margarita Fullana of Spain won the bronze.
- 2000 - Inge de Bruijn of the Netherlands wins the 50 freestyle for her third individual Olympic gold medal in 24.32 seconds, beating her own world record by .19 of a second. Therese Alshammar of Sweden takes the silver in 24.51 seconds, with American Dara Torres winning the bronze in 24.63.
- 2000 - The US women’s relay team of B.J. Bedford, Megan Quann, Jenny Thompson and Dara Torres win the gold in 3:58.30, setting a new world record, beating the mark of 4:01.67 set by China at the 1994 world championships. With eight gold medals, Jenny Thompson ends her swimming career only one short of the total set by gymnast Larissa Lathynina of the former Soviet Union for most golds by a woman. Overall, the United States won 33 swimming medals, including 14 golds, during the Sydney Olympics, with 15 world records set or tied.
- 2000 - The women’s synchronized diving, a new event for this Olympics, is won by the Russian pair of Vera Ilina and Yulia Pakhalina with total points of 332.64; China’s Fu Mingxia and Guo Jingjing win the silver with 321.60 points; and Ukrainian Ganna Sorokina and Olena Zhupina win the silver with 290.34 points.
- 2000 - Russian Svetlana Khorkina wins a gold medal at the Sydney Games on the uneven bars with a score of 9.862; China’s Ling Jie wins the silver.
- 2000 - Laura Wilkinson, 22, captures America’s first Olympic gold in 36 years on the 10-meter diving platform, finishing with 543.75 points; China’s Li Na, 16, wins the silver with 542.01; Canada’s Anne Montminy earns the bronze with 540.15. Wilkinson dove on a broken foot with bones that protrude into the bottom of her foot.
- 2000 - Australia wins the inaugeral gold medal in women’s water polo as the home team edges the US in a 4-3 game. Yvette Higgins shot the winning goal with 1.3 seconds to go in the game. Russia beat the Netherlands 4-3 for the bronze.
- 2000 - Naoko Takahashi, 28, wins the women’s marathon and the first track and field gold medal for a Japanese woman in an Olympic best time of 2:23.14. Romanian Lidia Simon won the silver in 2:23.22; Joyce Chepchumba of Kenya won the bronze in 2:24.55.
- 2000 - American Stacy Dragila wins the inaugural women’s pole vault with a jump of 15 feet, 1 inch (4.60 meters), Tatiana Grigorieva of Australia wins the silver, and Vala Flofadottir of Iceland the bronze.
- 2000 - Maria Mutola gives Mozambique its first Olympic gold medal with a win in the women’s 800 in 1:56.15. Stephanie Graf of Austria was second and Kelly Holmes of Britain won bronze.
- 2000 - Romania’s Gabriela Szabo, 24, wins the Olympic 5,000 meter gold medal, beating Ireland’s Sonia O’Sullivan who took the silver, and Ethiopia’s Gete Wami who won the bronze.
- 2000 - Australia choose 27-year-old Aboriginal athlete Cathy Freeman to light the cauldron to open the Sydney Olympics, who earned Australia's 100th gold medal with her gold medal run in the women’s 400 meters. She won in 49.11 seconds; Jamaica’s Lorraine Graham won silver in 49.58 and Britain’s Katharine Merry won the bronze in 49.72.
- 2000 - The U.S. softball team earns its second consecutive Olympic gold with a 2-1 win over Japan on a Laura Berg hit which allowed Jennifer McFalls to score in the eighth inning.
- 2000 - Leontien Zijlaard of the Netherlands wins the Olympic road race in 3 hours, 6 minutes, 31 seconds. Hanka Kupfernagel of Germany wins the silver medal and Diana Ziliute of Lithuania took the bronze.
- 2000 - Venus Williams becomes only the second player in history to win Wimbledon, the US Open and the Olympics in the same year with her 6-2, 6-4 victory over Elena Dementieva for an Olympic gold medal in the women’s singles final. Steffi Graf did it in 1988.
- 2000 - Venus and Serena Williams become Olympic champions, beating Dutch players Kristie Boogert and Miriam Oremans 6-1, 6-1. Venus is the second woman to win both the singles and doubles titles at the same Olympiad, following the lead of countrywoman Helen Wills who did it in 1924.
- 2000 - Norway beats America’s defending World Cup and Olympic champions 3-2 in overtime for the Olympic soccer gold medal. Norway is the only nation with an all-time winning record (15-13-2) against the United States.
- 2000 - Scoring 99.146 out of a possible 100 points, Russia wins gold in the team synchronized swimming competition, Japan takes the silver with 98.860 and Canada bronze with 97.357.
- 2000 - The 1992 Olympic champion Heike Drechsler of Germany wins the women’s long jump.
- 2000 - Cuba’s women’s team wins a record third consecutive Olympic gold medal in a 5-game match with Russia. Cuba has won every major international competition since the 1992 Olympics with a 35-3 record in world championships and Olympics.
- 2000 - Birgit Fischer becomes the all-time leading Olympic medal-winner in kayaking with her ninth medal, winning the women’s four for the second straight time and third in four Olympics, tying swimmer Kristin Otto and Reiner Klimke of equestrian for most golds by a German at six.
- 2000 - Cyclist Leontien Zijlaard of the Netherlands wins her third gold medal of the Sydney Olympics with a 36-second victory in the women’s cycling time trials. She won gold medals in the road race and 3,000-meter individual pursuit, setting a world record, and took silver in the points race. Zijlaard won the 18-mile time trial course in 42 minutes, ahead of silver medalist Mari Holden of the United States with 42:36 and bronze medalist Jeannie Longo-Ciprelli of France in 42:52.
- 2000 - Russia wins the gold medal in the rhythmic group competition over Belarus in a tie-breaker. Greece won the bronze.
- 2000 - The US women’s basketball team defends is gold medal against Australia, 76-54, with American Teresa Edwards playing in her fifth Olympics. In winning silver, Australia had its highest finish ever in women’s basketball.
- 2000 - Stephanie Cook of Britain edges American Emily deRiel in the last event for the gold in the first Olympic women’s modern pentathlon. Kate Allenby of Britain won the bronze. In the competition, athletes fire 20 shots at 20 targets with a 4.5-milimeter air pistol; fence in a 24-person round robin; swim a 200-meter freestyle race; ride a horse over a course that has 12 jumps; and run a 3-kilometer race all in one day.
- 2000 - Yelena Yelesina of Russia wins the women’s high jump with a jump of 2.01 meters (6 feet, 7 inches), Hestrie Cloete of South Africa the silver, and Kajsa Bergqvist of Sweden and Oana Manuela Pantelimon of Romania shared the bronze.
- 2000 - Trine Hattestad of Norway wins the women’s javelin with a throw of 68.91 meters (226 feet, 1-2 inch), Mirella Maniani-Tzelili of Greece the silver and Osleidys Menendez of Cuba the bronze.
- 2000 - “The Breakfast of Champions” will feature three Olympic women: swimmer Brooke Bennett, pole vaulter Stacy Dragila, and diver Laura Wilkinson, on boxes of Wheaties available in October.
- 2000 - The Australian Open will offer equal prize money for men’s and women’s tennis in 2001, joining the US Open as the only other Grand Slam to do so. Players will compete for $7.5 million, with winners of the men’s and women’s singles crowns earning $450,000. Prize money had been equal five years ago.
- 2000 - American cyclist Mari Holden, the Olympic silver medallist, beat Frenchwoman Jeannie Longo with a winning time of 33:14 over a 25 km course in the women’s time trial world championship.
- 2000 - A Greensboro, NC, jury awards Heather Mercer, a female place-kicker, $2 million in punitive damages, ruling Duke University cut her from the team solely because of her gender. Mercer will use the award to finance a scholarship for female place-kickers. She won her claim that Duke violated the Title IX amendment that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in educational programs receiving federal funds.
- 2000 - Juli Inkster gets her 25th career victory by winning the Samsung World Championship.
- 2000 - Jenny Thompson, 27, the most decorated U.S. woman athlete in Olympic history, is chosen Sportswoman of the Year by the Women’s Sports Foundation. She won four medals at the Sydney Olympics, increasing her career total to 10 medals, including eight golds. She plans to attend Columbia medical school.
- 2000 - Venus and Serena Williams receive the Sportswomen of the Year award, a team honor, by the Women’s Sports Foundation. The doubles team won championships at Wimbledon and the Olympics, as well as the 1999 French Open and US Open.
- 2000 - Tennis player Martina Navratilova receives the Wilma Rudolph Courage Award by the Women’s Sports Foundation.
- 2000 - Inducted into the International Women’s Sports Hall of Fame are synchronized swimming Hall of Fame coach Chris Carver, Australian track great Marjorie Jackson-Nelson, and synchronized swimmer Tracie Ruiz-Conforto by the Women’s Sports Foundation.
- 2000 - Karrie Webb wins $122,000 and her seventh tournament of the year at the AFLAC Champions tournament. She is assured of LPGA player of the year honors for 2000. The first LPGA player to win $1 million on tour in 1996, she has won a record $1,815,053 so far this year, with one more tournament to go.
- 2000 - French cyclist Jeannie Longo, 42, sets a new world one-hour record on a conventional bike with 44.767 kilometers in Mexico City, beaking the 43.501km record set by Australian Anna Wilson in Melbourne during the Olympics. Longo has the world one-hour record of 48.159 km for a high-tech bike set in 1996.
- 2000 - North Carolina’s Tar Heels (16-3) women’s soccer wins a 12th consecutive ACC Conference in a 4-0 victory over Duke. The Tournament MVP is Meredith Florance, with 2 assists on goals in the game.
- 2000 - The Florida Gators earn their fifth straight Southeastern Conference women’s soccer championship with a 2-0 win over Georgia.
- 2000 - Ludmila Petrova becomes the first Russian to win the New York City Marathon in 2:25.45 for $65,000, a $25,000 bonus for finishing in under 2:26, plus an automobile and a scooter. Italy’s Franca Fiacconi was second in 2:26:03, with Margaret Okayo in 2:26:36 at third, Kiumtai at fourth in 2:26:42, Florence Barsosio fifth in 2:27:00 and Tegla Loroupe sixth in 2:29:35.
- 2000 - Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer (500-143) earned her 500th career victory in a 73-65 win over Pacific. VanDerveer, who has spent 15 of her 22 coaching years at Stanford, becomes the 17th coach in women’s basketball history to reach 500 career wins.
- 2000 - The Nebraska Cornhuskers (34-0) beat Wisconsin 3-2 for the NCAA Volleyball crown.
- 2000 - US sprinter Marion Jones, 24, is named Female Athlete of the Year by the International Amateur Athletic Federation (IAAF). In other awards, the IAAF also announced that Australia’s 400 meters Olympic champion Cathy Freeman was given the Inspirational Award after her performances in Sydney. German long jumper Heike Drechsler, 35, who beat Jones in the Olympic final to take gold, was given a Distinguished Career Award. The Rising Star award went to Australia’s Jana Pittman who won titles at the junior track and field championships in Santiatober.
- 2000 - The National Track and Field Hall of Fame inducts Chandra Cheeseborough and Maren Seidler at the USA Track & Field’s convention in Albuquerque, NM. Cheeseborough, 41, won silver in the 400 at the Los Angeles Games and gold medals in the 1,600 and 400 relays. Currently she serves as the men’s and women’s track and field and cross country coach at her alma mater, Tennessee State. Maren Seidler, 49, a four-time Olympian, won 23 national shot put titles from 1967-80. She set the American shot put record 16 times, indoors and outdoors, and became the first American woman to throw the shot farther than 60 feet.
- 2000 - Olympic champion Stacy Dragila, 29, receives the Jesse Owens award as the year’s outstanding track and field athlete from the the executive committee of USA Track and Field. She won the first Olympic women’s pole vault title with a winning jump of 15 feet, 1 inch, and broke the world record five times. Dragila has won eight U.S. indoor and outdoor titles.
- 2000 - Australia wins the inaugural $1 million Women’s World Cup Golf tournament with a three-day total of 13-under 275. Australian teammates Karrie Webb and Rachel Hetherington beat Sweden’s Sorenstam sisters. Annika and Charlotta. Americans Meg Mallon and Juli Inkster rook third place and Canada finished fourth. The 25 year old Webb’s total career earnings now surpass $6 million.
- 2000 - Sandra Baldwin is elected the first female president of the US Olympic Committee in its 106-year history.
- 2000 - The North Carolina Tar Heels win their 16th NCAA women’s soccer championship in 19 years at the final game in San Jose, CA, beating UCLA 2-1. North Carolina, seeded fifth, becomes the lowest seed ever to win the title.
- 2000 - The Golf Writers Association of America choose Australian Karrie Webb as a player of the year. Webb won two majors and finished the season with seven victories and almost $2 million in prize money during the season.
- 2000 - Michelle Akers, 34, is honored by Futbol de Primera as the best female soccer player ever. Akers retired as the leading scorer for the US National Team with 105 goals in 153 games during her 15-year career as a forward/midfielder. Akers is one of only four women to score over 100 career goals in international play.
- 2000 - Sweden breaks its own world record in the women’s 200-meter medley relay at the European Short Course Swimming Championships in 1:48.31 seconds, beating the previous record of 1.49.47. The Swedish team also set a world record Friday winning the 200-meter freestyle relay.
- 2000 - Wimbledon, U.S. Open and Sydney Olympic champion Venus Williams signs for the richest endorsement deal ever for a woman in sports, a contract worth a $40 million over five years with Reebok.
- 2000 - New Zealand wins the Cricinfo Women’s Cricket World Cup from defending Australia by just four runs.
- 2000 - Marion Jones is chosen as The Associated Press’ Female Athlete of the Year.
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